7 great family days out in Scotland

WITH the Easter holidays fast approaching, there's no need to fret about where to go and what to do with the kids. There are plenty of places throughout Scotland tailored specifically for families. From racing tracks and heritage railways to spy missions and adventure playparks, we've taken the liberty to list seven of our favourites.

Wednesday, 29th March 2017, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:59 pm
Knockhill offers high octane thrills. Picture: Contributed.
Knockhill offers high octane thrills. Picture: Contributed.

1. Knockhill Racing Circuit, Dunfermline

Few outdoor attractions in Scotland can generate this much excitement for older children. Situated in the heart of the Kingdom of Fife, the legendary circuit is suitable for children of all skill levels. Cadet karts are available for 8 to 11 year olds and Pro Karts for 12 years and over on the 500m outdoor racing circuit. A wide range of driving experiences, event types and karts are available. Junior Karting is from £10, while adults can join in for £15.

2. Loch Katrine steamship excursions

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The Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine. Picture: Contributed.

Home of the famous Clyde-built steamship, the Sir Walter Scott, Loch Katrine provides a wonderful day out for all the family in one of Scotland’s most serene natural environments. Trips can also be booked on the cruiser, the Lady of the Lake, with each route offering its own unique experience. Departing from Troassachs Pier, the 2 hour return ticket to Stronachlachar costs £16.50 or £14.50 for adults, and £8.50 or £7.50 for under 16s. Under 5s board for free.

3. Crathes Castle

It’s one of the north east’s most historic and beautiful locations, but there’s more to Banchory’s Crathes Castle than 16th century architecture and landscaped gardens. It’s also a great place for kids. Go Ape at Crathes Castle with its zip wires, tarzan swings, rope ladders and variety of obstacles and crossing is a brilliant day out for children aged 9+. Adults (big kids) can also have plenty of fun too. The cost for adults ranges from £31-£33. Children get in for £25.

4. The National Museum of Flight

Scotland's National Airshow at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor.

Located just outside of North Berwick, The National Museum of Flight at East Fortune is one of the best FREE days out to be had in Scotland. Kids of all ages will enjoy seeing the mix of vintage and modern planes, from the world-famous Spitfire to the oldest surviving Harrier jump jet and the Tornado F3. There’s even the chance to board Scotland’s only Concorde. The museum has recently invested £3.6 million restoring their World War Two hangars and offers some truly spectacular vintage air shows throughout the year.

5. Strathspey Railway

This ten mile long 1950s branchline is one of Scotland’s few preserved heritage railway lines, and offers a touch of vintage steam magic suitable for all ages. Located in the heart of the Highlands and running between Aviemore to Broomhill via Boat of Garten, it’s certainly one of the country’s most majestic and stunning tourist attractions. Young children will be in awe at the sight of the vintage steam engines. A truly special day out. Tickets cost £12.50 per person and under 5s board for free.

6. Dalkeith Country Park

Locomotive at Strathspey Railway. Picture: www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk

Since its multi-million pound revamp last year, Dalkeith Country Park boasts one of Scotland’s most incredible and up-to-date Adventure Playgrounds. Located just 5 miles outside of Edinburgh, it’s also extremely easy to get to by car. In addition to the adventure playground, there are also plenty of special activities and events, plus waymarked walking and cycling routes to be getting on with too. And families can enjoy a picnic together in one of the many designated areas. A great day out that doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

7. Aberdeen Spy Mission Treasure Trail

Unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes with the Aberdeen Spy Mission Treasure Trail. The murder mystery themed walking treasure trail takes you through Aberdeen itself and is ideal for exploring the city. Sneaky clues are placed on buildings and monuments and the trail will take you through some of Aberdeen’s most scenic and notable areas. Suitable for all ages from 6+. The cost is £6.99 per person.

The adventure playground at Dalkeith Country Park. Picture: Contributed.
The Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine. Picture: Contributed.
Scotland's National Airshow at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor.
Locomotive at Strathspey Railway. Picture: www.strathspeyrailway.co.uk
The adventure playground at Dalkeith Country Park. Picture: Contributed.